Astrophysics, Space

NASA Spacecraft Takes a Closer Look at Dwarf Planet Ceres

PHOTO: This processed image, taken on Jan. 13, 2015, shows the dwarf planet Ceres as seen from the Dawn spacecraft.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is getting closer to Ceres – the largest object from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The space agency released some new pictures of the dwarf planet, and while these aren’t the best pictures of Ceres yet, as the shuttle moves closer and closer, the pictures will get better and better.

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Scientists Observe Giant Burst of Radio Waves

blitzar

Scientists have observed a massive burst of radio waves, helping them narrow down the potential sources of these huge bursts of energy. These events, also called blitzars, last about a millisecond but give off as much energy as the sun does in a million years. These are quite possibly the most interesting and shocking sources of energy in the Universe. It’s

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

New Study Suddenly Makes Billions of Exoplanets Habitable

Above: How heat is distributed on a spinning planet versus a rotationally locked one. Image via Popular Mechanics.

Astronomers hunting for habitable Earth-like planets now believe that the best place to look is not around stars like our Sun, but rather around smaller, cooler stars—orange and red dwarfs. These are by far the most abundant stars in our galaxy, and all of them have at least one exoplanet.

Astrophysics, News, Space

Meteorites Not Responsible For Building Solar System, Study Finds

An artist's rendering of a protoplanetary impact. Early in the impact, molten jetted material is ejected at a high velocity and breaks up to form chondrules, the millimeter-scale, formerly molten droplets found in most meteorites. These droplets cool and solidify over hours to days.
Credit: NASA/California Institute of Technology

For decades, astronomers have believed that meteorites are the building blocks of our solar system – the lego blocks for planets. But a new study from scientists at MIT and Purdue University suggests that this may not be the case after all – and we’ve given meteorites too much credit.

Astrophysics, News, Space, Space flight

China Reaches Moon Orbit, Wants to Mine Very Rare, Energy Dense Element

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China’s has reached a new milestone in its space program – its latest spacecraft service module has entered orbit around the moon, after being successfully tested on Earth a few months ago. Chinese media reports that the service module of a test lunar orbiter has successfully began orbiting the Moon. The goal of this mission is to land on the Moon, retrieve

Astrophysics, News

Scientists may have found the first signals of dark matter

We don't know what dark matter is... but we may have found it. Image via In Tech Web.

For the first time, scientists may have found signals of dark matter. After analyzing reams of X-ray data, scientists in EPFL’s Laboratory of Particle Physics and Cosmology (LPPC) and Leiden University believe they could have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter. The substance, which was never observed, exists only as a theoretical cause for gravitational effects observed by

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Pulsars with black holes could hold the ‘holy grail’ of gravity

Artistic depiction of a pulsar and the emitted radiation. Image via National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Pulsars and black holes, two of the most enigmatic celestial bodies in the Universe may actually hold the key to understanding how Einstein’s theory of relativity and gravity interact. A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. Pulsars are from when a star that turns becomes a supernova and then collapses into a neutron star;

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Organic molecules found on comet

The Philae lander found organic molecules on the surface of a comet.

As we were telling you already in several articles, the Rosetta probe is in orbit of a comet – the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. But to make things even more exciting, Philae, Rosetta’s lander, also made contact with the comet; among other things, the lander found carbon molecules on the comet – the basis of life on Earth. Considering how comets are believed to